Wednesday 4 May 2011


The name of the city couldn't describe it better. The Mad tournament already got rid of all the bottom half of its seeded players, namely: [9] Monfils, [10] Almagro, [11] Fish, [12] Roddick, [13] Youzhny, [14] Wawrinka, [15] Verdasco, [16] Troicki. And that's before any of the top 8 played a match, except for David Ferrer (I'll get to him later).

I only watched 3 matches out of these 8, but every one was crazy in its own way.

First, we have Roddick losing 4-6 7-6(7) 3-6 to Flavio Cipolla from Italy, ranked 160, who got in through the qualifying draw. Predictably enough, he acted very much like himself:

If anyone has a video of him F-wording away, I'd appreciate a link, I just missed that part of the match ;)
More to the point, he really didn't play very well. He approached the net time and time again, only to be passed by Cipolla (who kept his nerve throughout the match), and didn't learn from his mistakes at all.

Then we have Youzhny, who lost to Del Potro. The loss itself wasn't that much of a suprise, as Del Potro had been in good form lately, with great results overall and a fresh title from Estoril, which he won  just two days ago.

However, Del Potro struggled with an injury at the beginning of the second set, and while Youzhny managed to use it to win the set, you'd expect him to win the whole match after that...

But Del Potro continued being too good, and I really hope that he recovers in time for his match tomorrow, and makes it healthy to the 3rd around against Nadal (Presumably, you can never know these days... ;)).
You can read a bit more about the match here.

 (Photo: Daniel Ochoa De Olza / AP)

A surprising result was Verdasco's loss in two sets to Yen-Hsun Lu. Lu played a total of 8 matches on clay in his whole career (turned pro in 2001), with only one win until today. He now improved to 2-7 on the surface... Since I didn't see the match, that's about all I can say about it.

A couple of words about Monfils' loss against Juan Monaco - Monfils didn't feel well during his match. Calling the trainer, he said that he was dizzy, and that he had some problems with his stomach, apparently. However, he denied the treatment that the trainer wanted to provide, and carried on playing... Not long afterwards, he took a break and went off the court, with the need to vomit. And yet, when he returned, play resumed. In the end, he retired at 2-6 0-3 down. And I only have one question: Why didn't he do it earlier?!
Granted, the same thing happend to Dinara Safina a couple of weeks ago in Morocco, and she somehow managed to win her match (though walk out of the next one). But nobody wants to see a player who's literally shaking on the court. Health should come first...

Edited to add: Monfils tweeted that he accidentally ate cheese, which he's allergic to, and that he's frustrated with the need to retire... :(

And finally, David Ferrer. After a couple of great tournaments - got to the finals against Nadal in Monte Carlo, and then again in Barcelona - he won his first match in Madrid against Adrian Mannarino. With the incredible score 7-5 0-6 6-0. Even though I watched the match, I'm still not sure I can explain what happened there. The second set was actually a lot tighter than the scoring suggests, but Ferru made a lot of bad mistakes, while Mannarino managed to get to each and every ball. Then David came to the deciding set ready for action, and though it was pretty tight too - he crushed his opponent, as we expected him to do much earlier...

Speaking of which, the amount of bagels in this tournament is incredible. Here's a list of players who won a 6-0 set in the last three days: Bethanie Mattek-Sands, David Ferrer, Adrian Mannarino, Francesca Schiavone, Vika Azarenka (double bagel), Ana Ivanovic, Roberta Vinci, Elena Vesnina, Jelena Jankovic. At least 3 of these players lost the match after winning that set (Schiavone's still playing at the moment).

The bottom line of this is: No one is safe, dear top seeds ;) I fully expect a couple more upsets coming our way tomorrow - Berdych? Soderling? Perhaps even... *whispering now* Federer? With how Feliciano Lopez is playing (beat Raonic in 3 sets today), I wouldn't put it past him to cause an upset...
Just to complete the picture, Nole and Rafa - you'd better play your best tomorrow!

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